February 2020  
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Judea Weekly eNews for Nov 29 - Cultivate Hope

Judea Weekly eNews for Nov 29 - Cultivate Hope

Advent begins this Sunday! 

     The first Sunday of Advent, we cultivate Hope.  And I love the Unison Prayer in for this week so much, I thought I'd share to give you a little preview.  Will you come together with us this Sunday for a message of hope?

      Give to us all, loving God, a sense of your presence and peace.  In the dark night of the world’s anguish, we pray to you out of our need.  Hear us as we come, intensely alone, yet holding hands in the darkness, making one another’s cares our own.  Strengthen the poets, the prophets, the peacemakers, the dreamers, and the dancers of life.  Grant us faith and courage to be planters of compassion and cultivators of hope. 

     The children will begin in the Meeting House for the lighting of the first candle, the candle of hope on the Advent calendar.  Afterward, they will head over to the Sunday School room where the children will be making their own Advent preparations and they will also begin telling the story of Christmas with all of the figures from the creche scene.

     This Sunday is also the day we dedicate and bless the gifts for the Salvation Army giving tree.  Some folks have left them off in the office already but if you have not, please do bring them with you on Sunday!   And also during the service, some of the SingOut! chorus members will sing for us, providing a small taste of thier talent that will be showcased later that same day in the free SingOut!CT holiday concert at 5 pm.

     And take note of the special service times this month, all listed in the sidebar of announcements, along with other special activities like the Ornament Making Workshop run by Carrie and Millie will be on Saturday, December 8.  If you have young ones you are planning to bring and have not already let Carrie know, please email her so she can be sure to have ample supplies on hand. 

See you in church!

Karen Esslinger
First Congregational Church | admin@firstchurchwashingtonct.org | www.FirstChurchWashingtonCT.org | Calendar



Coffee Hour Host Needed - Dec 16, and 23

We are in need of a host or co-hosts for coffee hour on December 16, 23, and 30.

Our deacons are encouraging a simple approach to coffee hour.  Ask one of our deacons, or Karen in the office, for a copy of these simple guidelines for your reference.

Please sign up on the list in the church hall on the bulletin board, or by emailing the church office. If you’ve never done it, but want to, ask a Deacon of the Month for some help.

Christmas Memorials

     We are now taking orders for Christmas Memorials.  Click here for PDF form or MS Word Doc

     Remember your loved ones with a gift of food or shelter for those in need, or flowers if you prefer!  All memorials will be listed in the Christmas Eve and Travelers' Christmas bulletins and are due back no later than December 14 in order to be included in the listings for those services.  Click one of the links above and read the order form for all the details.

Advent in 2 Minutes

Not quite sure about the relationship between Advent and Christmas? Check out Busted Halo's two-minute video that describes why we celebrate Advent and wait to celebrate Christmas:  Advent in 2 minutes

If you like this, try more content from Busted Halo, an online magazine for spiritual seekers. 

SingOut! CT Holiday Show - Sunday, Dec 2 - 5:30 pm

Meeting House doors open at 5 pm.  Free admission; donations are welcome.  Click through this image for a full flyer about the event.

6 Kirby Road, Washington, CT

Ornament Workshop - Sat Dec 8 - 10 am - noon

We will be hosting an ornament making workshop on Saturday, December 8th from 10 am -12 noon in the church hall. Come and create ornaments to decorate your tree or to give as gifts, make some new friends, and celebrate the season!  This workshop is open to all children  - we would love to see you there and bring your friends! 

Please contact Carrie Loyd at with any questions.

Honor Someone by Sponsoring a Pew Memorial Plaque

Pew plaques are a great way to honor/ celebrate loved ones this holiday and for years to come!   Dedicate pew space in our sanctuary!

A permanent plaque will be mounted on a pew with your personalized dedication.  Simply complete and return this form to the church at  PO Box 1285, Washington, CT 06793.

Your donation helps offset some of the cost of renovations made to our sanctuary in 2017.

Our pews are mostly the same pews that were installed when this church was rebuilt in. Last year, as part of the renovations we did to repair and replace elements and generally make more beautiful our sanctuary, the pews were all removed, repaired and painted. Some were revised to allow space for better accessibility for wheelchairs, complementing our lift that helps make the church itself more accessible and welcoming.
This year, we continue to offer an opportunity to memorialize the pews for members, friends and members of the community at large who appreciate this historic building and all that it offers to us and the community.

Complete and return this form to the church at PO Box 1285, Washington, CT  06793.

A Travelers' Christmas - Sun, Dec 16 - 5 pm

If you travel at Christmas to be with family somewhere else, and never get to celebrate Christmas Eve here in our beautiful part of the world in a classic New England Meeting House; come to the First Congregational Church of Washington on Sunday, December 16th at 5 pm for our early Christmas Eve with Christmas readings and carols, the lighting of candles and the traditional gift of oranges for all the children. An hors d’oeuvres reception will follow in the Parish House.

Please join us to make merry a little early and add your voice to “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World!”

Comfort and Peace Christmas Service - FRIDAY, Dec 21- 7:30 pm

If you need a little more peace and some comfort at a time when making jolly just doesn't seem to work, please join the First Congregational Church at 6 Kirby Road in Washington, CT for a very special “Service of Comfort and Peace.” This service is especially helpful for those who, for various reasons, are struggling to get into the expected festive spirit of joy this season. The service will be held Saturday evening December 21, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Please join us for this very special evening.

Christmas Pageant - Sign up now!

Annual Christmas Eve Pageant

If your family plans to be at our 5:00 pm Christmas Eve service on Dec 24 (OR our new "Travelers' Christmas" on Sunday, December 16 at 5:00 pm), your kids have an opportunity to participate in the annual pageant.  We would love to have all children and youth participating in the service in some way.  If your child/ren is/are interested and you plan to be at one of the two services mentioned above, kindly let Carrie Loyd, our Sunday School teacher, know as soon as possible so we can ready the costumes and get the different parts sorted out. 

You can tell her in person on this Sunday, but better yet send her an email before you forget!

Food Bank - Please Contribute this Week

Eating does not have a season. Won’t you please pick up a few extra items for the cart so that those who need it can have some nutritious food or personal care items they might not be able to buy this month.  Remember, the money starts running thin towards the end of the month – before it finally runs out in that last week, or before.  Donations are especially needed NOW.  A list of items is available in the cart or online.

Our donations are currently being directed to the New Milford Food Bank.
Jean's most recent check-in with the Food Bank director indicates that CANNED SOUPS and COFFEE
are still currently the items in need.

Bring your donations to church on Sunday or they may be placed in the Parish House shopping cart any time the building is open (Monday through Friday, 9-5 pm, and Sunday mornings)
Volunteer Chaperones Needed for New Milford Shelter

The shelter in New Milford also has need of overnight volunteers.   A few of our members already do this.  If you want to hear what they have to say about it, talk with John Turner or Steve Wadelton.

Give them a call anytime.  Contact:  Rufus at (860) 592-0142  for details.

New Milford Homeless Shelter Coalition, Inc., PO Box 1016, New Milford, CT 06776

A Prayer for the Pastoral Search Committee

Committee Members:  Scott Brady, Emelie Burl, Judie Gorra, John Lintner, Cara Michalski, John Turner, Dave Werkhoven, Dimitri Willert.

    Our Search Committee is working very hard during this pastoral search, currently receiving inquiries and conducting interviews of many very qualified candidates.  Please continue to hold them all in prayer.

     Recognizing God’s calling; this congregation has placed our trust in the wisdom and dedication of this group of people.  We commissioned them to work on our behalf to find the next pastor and teacher to minister with and among us.  With gratitude for their willingness to undertake this important work; we continue to promise our cooperation and our prayers.

Our prayer to them (or feel free to create your own, with or without words):

   May God strengthen your friendship and deepen your faith.  May God give light for your path and fill you with understanding and wisdom to discern the spirit and needs of the congregation.  God grant you eyes of the heart to recognize the spiritual gifts of the one God is sending.  May God give you patience and perseverance.  May God keep you and your families safe and well. 

     If you have not already done so, get to know those fellow members who are doing this important work for our congregation and affirm to them your support and gratitude.


Weather-Related Cancellations

It's that time of year again!  With the possibility of weather-related cancellations, we intend to post cancellations or important Alert! here on our home page.  However, just to be safe, please tune in to WFSB / Channel 3.  Closings, cancellations, or late starts for any activities, including worship, will be posted there.

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